Six Nations: Dan Lydiate earns Wales recall, Josh Macleod only uncapped player in 36-man squad

Dan Lydiate has been recalled by Wales for this year’s Six Nations by Wayne Pivac, with uncapped Josh Macleod included in his 36-man squad as well.

Lydiate last played for Wales against Australia in 2018, but the 64-cap veteran has been included among Pivac’s back-row options.

At the other end of the scale is Scarlets back-row Macleod, the sole uncapped player named in the squad who had been set to feature in last year’s Autumn Nations Cup before injury ruled out the 24-year-old.

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“We are hugely looking forward to meeting up as a squad on Monday and to the forthcoming campaign,” Pivac said as Wales prepare to host Ireland on February 7 to start their Six Nations campaign.

“As we consistently spoke about, the autumn for us was about opportunity and development, looking ahead to Rugby World Cup 2023 and it served that purpose for us.

“This campaign is different, it is tournament rugby and we are excited to get going and play our part.

“We have picked a squad for this tournament based on form and we are excited to meet up on Monday and get our preparation underway.”

There was, however, no rumoured recall for Bath playmaker Rhys Priestland, with Cardiff Blues’ Jarrod Evans getting a call-up instead.

Priestland has not played a Test match since 2017 having moved to England, but is expected to return to Wales with Cardiff next year and Pivac was thought to have the option of selecting the 34-year-old.

Evans is the only fly-half in the squad currently plying his trade in Wales, with Dan Biggar at Northampton and Callum Sheedy impressing with Bristol Bears.

Rhys Webb, with 33 caps to his name, is not among the scrum-halves selected either. Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams and last year’s Autumn Nations Cup debutant Kieran Hardy will be battling it out for the No. 9 shirt instead.

Also earning selection along with Hardy and Sheedy are Johnny Williams and Louis Rees-Zammit, who also made their international debuts in the autumn.

Senior men Ken Owens, Alun Wyn Jones and Josh Navidi all selected after injury concerns. However, Rob Evans, Nicky Smith, Samson Lee, Ross Moriarty, James Davies, Ellis Jenkins, Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Patchell, Scott Williams, Jonah Holmes are all unavailable due to injury.

Wales 2021 Six Nations squad

Forwards: Rhys Carre, Wyn Jones, Rhodri Jones, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Ken Owens, Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Will Rowlands, Cory Hill, Dan Lydiate, Josh Navidi, Aaron Wainwright, Taulupe Faletau, Josh MacLeod, Justin Tipuric,

Backs: Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams, Kieran Hardy, Dan Biggar, Callum Sheedy, Jarrod Evans, Johnny Williams, Jonathan Davies, Nick Tompkins, Owen Watkin, George North, Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Louis Rees-Zammit, Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams.

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